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Old Saturday 12th June 2010, 02:12   #1
NDhunter
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Binocular Tryout.

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to spend about a half hour trying out a variety of binoculars.
I have not had any experience with the Zeiss models, but here are first impressions. First off these are only indoors only impressions that I have had,
so it is very hard to gain a perspective. I do find the Zeiss Victory and Conquest
do have a plastic type feel to the armor, and I do prefer the more textured and
grippy feel of the Swarovski and the Nikons, even the Action all the way up. And in a premium bin like this, any Swaro. or Nikon really offer the feel I desire.

I have read good reviews on the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD, and this was my first chance to look through one, and found them very compact and a good view. It seems not every sporting goods outlet has them in stock, as the recent visit to Cabelas, they were not there. As far as Bushnell goes, they must have over a dozen choices in the lineup, and so some retailers, probably don't know what to carry.

I am thinking most of the binoculars are priced fairly, as in some of the cheaper
Chinese roofs, as I guess most of them are, the quality, the armor, the focuser slack and touch, you wonder how it will perform the next day, and the eyecup adjustments are sometimes a free for all.

I am a conservative type, and so, I do come back to the entry level Nikon porros, both Action and Action EX, nice armor, and very dependable, from what I have seen, day to day, you just know how they will perform.

I was able to visit with the college aged man in charge of the optics counter, and they had some of them all, including some of the Alphas, I tried to give him a short lesson on porro vs. roof, also 8x vs 10x and especially, that under $100 the porro may give the best value. It seems for many the Nikon Monarch has been a great seller, and so that is common knowledge as one of the birders best choices.

Here are a couple of things I will recommend, on the lower end, the Bushnell Legacy 8x40, and the Nikon Action 8x40, both porros, seemed both quite good to me, now these are for the under $100 value area.

Jerry

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Old Saturday 12th June 2010, 13:52   #2
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I too have been searching for another binoc - either to replace my Leica 8x20 which is a bit short on eye relief (I really hate the thought of giving these little gems up), or just to have an extra pair to carry in my truck.

Earlier this spring I sold my Swarovski 8x32 ELs that I've had for 7 years because they too was a bit short on eye relief for me. Since it was my main binoc, I wanted something that was easier to see the entire view. I wound up getting a bargain on a new Zeiss Victory 8x42 FL and these are amazing. Actually I feel the opposite - I thought the EL had a much "smoother" finish and the Zeiss has more grip to it's surface - different strokes for different folks.

After reveiwing the Chuck Adams edition of the Excursion EX at the local Cabelas store, I wound up getting a like new green birding version of the Bushnell Excursion EX 7x36 from a guy on this forum. For $125 shipped, this is a decent binoc to keep in my truck.

I had the 6x30 Leupold Yosemeti home for awhile but I really didn't like seeing those ocular tubes moving up and down when I focus them. It's really hard to believe they don't move without touching the focus.
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Old Saturday 12th June 2010, 15:08   #3
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Hi Jerry, Thanks for your thoughts on the Zeiss and Nikons. I found the view through the Zeiss 8x42 & 8x32 FL excellent the feel of the binoculars was alright BT I didn't compare them to any other while at the Amish shoe shop. I love the feel of my Swaro 8x30 SLC neu . I have used some binoculars in the past that felt like they would slip out of your hand and didn't like that one bit. I agree about the Nikon porro binoculars being bargains, but I like the AE series and I have a Nikon 7x35 Action series as a fridge binocular and it is a bargain as well. I am more of a conservative type person in every way myself.:-)

I have the Leupold 6x30 Yosemite and have had no problem with the tubes moving under normal eye to eyepiece pressure.

Regards,Steve
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Old Sunday 13th June 2010, 01:37   #4
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The porros are nice in optics, but I never use them really. My one 8x42 porros, however, are the best pair for me with glasses on.

Weight will become obvious, most are some 30 oz.
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Old Sunday 13th June 2010, 01:39   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooreorless View Post
...

I have the Leupold 6x30 Yosemite and have had no problem with the tubes moving under normal eye to eyepiece pressure.

Regards,Steve
Which Swaro is that on the left? Oops..see above for picture. Thumbnail:
http://www.birdforum.net/attachment....1&d=1276351682

The right one might be 42mm EL, which is large. I think the focus knob is hidden on the small one on the left.
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Old Sunday 13th June 2010, 14:36   #6
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Tero, Here is another picture, and it shows the focuser on the Swarovski 8x30SLC neu. The other Swaro is an older, but as the picture shows in excellent shape 8.5x42 EL. I was very impressed by the 8.5x42EL, this model has the slow focus. I had no problem with the slow focus in my use of the binocular. I had use of this EL by the kindness of someone on here.
Regards,Steve
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Old Monday 14th June 2010, 01:39   #7
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Thanks, I came close to buying the 8x30. I got the Zeiss 10x40 then, instead. It is gone. I would still have the 8x30.
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Old Monday 14th June 2010, 13:27   #8
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Yes the Nikon Action EX is a nice and good value for birders :)
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Old Tuesday 15th June 2010, 06:09   #9
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Jerry,
I enjoyed reading about your tryout. I am slightly lucky that there's a Sportsman's Warehouse in Albuquerque, 100 miles away. They have a nice selection, and it is fun to try stuff. It is disheartening, however, the misinformation one gets at these places, it is best to try to find some amusement in it.

I find it very difficult to rate optical quality, unless it is really terrible, in the fluorescent lit brightly colored environment, and am pleased that you didn't really try to say too much about that.

I own a Zeiss FL, and agree that the texture is smooth, compared to many finishes. It does have some give to it though, and doesn't tend to collect dirt like some sticky finishes. Oh well, it is certainly expensive plastic!

Nikon should be awarded some kind of "top to bottom, all good" prize.
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Old Wednesday 16th June 2010, 02:40   #10
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Quote:
I own a Zeiss FL, and agree that the texture is smooth, compared to many finishes. It does have some give to it though, and doesn't tend to collect dirt like some sticky finishes. Oh well, it is certainly expensive plastic!
It depends on the color too.

The green bins are uncoated plastic and are quite slippy in my hands in the dry.

The black bins have a rubberish coating over the plastic (so they look black). That coating has a little give and is a lot more grippy.

I was suprised with "plasticky" comments on Zeiss until I got a green pair. Then I see what they mean. But it wasn't apparent (to me) with the black bins.

Same sort of thing is true with the scopes but there the green scopes have a rubberish coating over the metal body but the "silver" ones just have a dull finished metal surface.
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Old Wednesday 16th June 2010, 03:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronh View Post
Jerry,
I enjoyed reading about your tryout. I am slightly lucky that there's a Sportsman's Warehouse in Albuquerque, 100 miles away. They have a nice selection, and it is fun to try stuff. It is disheartening, however, the misinformation one gets at these places, it is best to try to find some amusement in it.

I find it very difficult to rate optical quality, unless it is really terrible, in the fluorescent lit brightly colored environment, and am pleased that you didn't really try to say too much about that.

I own a Zeiss FL, and agree that the texture is smooth, compared to many finishes. It does have some give to it though, and doesn't tend to collect dirt like some sticky finishes. Oh well, it is certainly expensive plastic!

Nikon should be awarded some kind of "top to bottom, all good" prize.
Ron
Ron:

I agree with you about evaluating a binocular inside a store. Very hard
to really see any large differences in the good ones. What is nice is getting
to handle them for all the rest, balance, focuser, eyecups and the ergos, fit and finish.

Jerry
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